Goose Island

Beer Style Resolution

Friday, January 20, 2017 | Anchor, Boxcar, East Coast Beer Co., Evolution, Fat Head's, Finch's, Fuller's, Fun, Goose Island, Hoegaarden, Ithaca, Keegan Ales, Kona, Lancaster Brewing, Long Trail, Magic Hat, New Belgium, Old Dominion, Redhook, Rogue, Spencer Trappist Brewery, Starr Hill Brewery, Susquhanna, Troegs, Uinta, Victory, Widmer

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Want a New Year’s resolution you won’t want to abandon in a couple months? Why not challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try new styles of beer. It’s easy to decide you like a select few varieties and rarely try anything that doesn’t fit in that box, but you never know what you might be missing.

Here we’ve listed a number of different common styles, as well as a few examples of each. An easy way to go through the list is just to pick one from each category and try it, but if you’re up for more of a challenge, try going through all the list before the end of the year is up. Could be you find your new favorite brew.

Amber/Red Ales:

Troegs Nugget Nectar

Goose Island Autumn Ale

Blonde Ale -

Victory Summer Love

Kona Big Wave Golden Ale

New Belgium Whizbang

Brown Ale -

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale

Bock/Doppelbock -

Lancaster Billy’s Bock

Starr Hill Snow Blind Doppelbock

Extra Special Bitter -

Magic Hat Wooly

Redhook Extra Special Bitter

Gose -

Victory Kirsch Gose

Uinta Ready Set Gose

Long Trail Cranberry Gose

Hefeweizen -

Troegs Dreamweaver

Starr Hill The Love

India Pale Ale -

Evolution Lot #3

Ithaca Flower Power

Fat Head’s Head Hunter

American Lager -

Kona Long Board Island Lager

Anchor Steam Beer

Susquehanna Goldencold Lager

Marzen -

Victory Festbier

Susquehanna Oktoberfest

Goose Island Oktoberfest

Milk/Sweet Stout -

Lancaster Milk Stout

Pale Ale –

Spencer Trappist Ale

Prism ParTea Pale Ale

Victory Headwaters

Pilsner -

BeachHaus Pislner

Troegs Sunshine Pils

Porter -

Fuller’s London Porter

Anchor Porter

Lancaster Shoo-Fly Pie Porter

Saison -

Goose Island Sofie

Old Dominion Gigi’s Farmhouse Ale

Victory Helios

Stout -

Old Dominion Morning Glory Espresso Stout

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness

Troegs Javahead

Tripel -

Old Dominion Candi Tripel

Victory Golden Monkey

Wild Ale -

Goose Island Lolita

New Belgium Le Terroir

Rogue Beard Beer

Witbier -

New Belgium Tartastic

Hoegaarden Original White

New Year’s Eve Beer Cocktails

Friday, December 23, 2016 | Crabbie's, Fun, Goose Island, Long Trail, New Belgium, Rogue, Victory, Wyndridge Farm

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Cocktails are a great alternative to champagne on New Year’s, so why not take it a step further and mix up your favorite beer into a great new beverage? Here, we’ll give you some winter-flavored cocktails that are worth celebrating with.

Sofie Mosa

A great option for New Year’s Day. Mix 2 parts Goose Island Sofie with 1 part orange juice for a neat twist on a brunch classic. Being white wine barrel-aged, it will impart enough flavor to conjure a somewhat champagne-like flavor, but the saison brew itself will make for a more complex drink.

Ginger Flip

Add 1 ounce good aged rum, 1 ounce ginger liqueur (like Domaine de Canton French Ginger) and 1 whole egg to a cocktail shaker. Shake for 30 seconds, add about an ounce of Wyndridge Farm Barn Dog Imperial Porter, half an ounce of hot water, and strain/stir into a mug.

Mulled Ale

For a single drink: pour 12 ounces of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar into a saucepan and add a pinch of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and a few whole cloves. Heat on low to medium low heat until the foam that arises subsides–do not allow to boil. Add honey to taste, 2 ounces cognac, and garnish with a slice or wheel of orange.

And now for some refreshing mixes:

Black & Tan

This traditional beer-and-beer cocktail is an easy standard to go to. For the best flavor, try Victory Headwaters and Long Trail Unearthed.

Southern 75

This take on the French 75 uses an IPA rather than champagne for a more complex flavor. Pour 6 ounces of New Belgium Citradelic into a collins glass, then combine 2 ounces bourbon, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce simple syrup with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain over beer, garnish with lemon twist.

Cranberry Moscow Mule

Fill mug with ice, then pour 2 ounces sweetened cranberry juice, juice from half a lime, 2 ounces vodka, 4 ounces Crabbie’s Original Ginger Beer over said ice. Stir, and garnish with lime wedge and cranberries.

Goose Island Goose Winter Ale

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 | Featured Beer, Goose Island

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A classic winter favorite, Goose Winter Ale is rich in nutty, chocolatey flavor with a deep, caramel-y maltiness. A very light hop bitterness rounds out the sweetness of this medium-bodied brown ale, and mild carbonation make for smooth drink. This is a great go-to brew for the holiday season. 5.3% ABV

Aging Beers

Friday, March 25, 2016 | Fun, Goose Island, Troegs, Uinta, Victory, Widmer

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Most beers are best drunk fresh, particularly those on the hop-forward side of things. But as with every rule, there are exceptions. Like fine wines, some beers dig deeper into their flavors with age, blooming into something truly extraordinary. Today, we’ll go over the best methods for choosing a beer to age, and what conditions are best for bringing out the most in your bottle.

Will It Age Well?

The flavors that hold true over time are breadiness, earthiness, blackcurrant, straw, woodiness, wine and sweetness. If you choose a beer that is strong in these flavors already, chances are they will only grow. However, do consider that metallic and cardboard flavors can develop in some beers. Also, beers with higher ABV (7% and up) tend to age better than those with less alcohol.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! Just as taste in beer style is relative, the styles that you may like aged are probably different than your neighbors’ or friends’ preferred aged styles.

So, here’s a quick rundown of the styles that might be good for aging.

Barleywines
Saisons
Winter Warmers
Sours
Lambics
Krieks
Gueuzes
Stouts
Porters
Oak-Aged Beers

Where and How to Store

There’s a reason that this process is often referred to as ‘cellaring.’ Beer of any variety hates heat and light. This is the cause of ‘skunkiness,’ or that stale, horrible flavor that one equates with a bottle that’s been found sitting on a porch after several weeks. This is why craft beers are stored in dark bottles or cans. So you’ll want a cool, dark environment to let your beer sleep. Temperatures in the low 50s are thought to be best, thought consistency in temperature is also key. If you have a corner of your basement that keeps cool year-round, that might be the places to set up your little aging center.

It’s best to keep your beer upright for several reasons. Although wine cellars have a tendency to store their bottles horizontally, vertical orientation helps to keep the beer from over-oxidizing and ruining the flavor. Also, if you are choosing the age a corked beer, that same cork can impart some not-so-pleasant flavors into the brew. Sommeliers refer to this as a wine being ‘corked.’

Deciding to age a beer can be fraught with impatience. The time that you store a beer is ultimately up to you. However, we so humbly suggest buying several of your chosen beer, and tasting it as it progresses, starting with a fresh sample, then aging one year, two years and so on to see how the flavor changes. Keeping note of the changes can be a fun project, as well as allow you to know what the best aging time is for your next go ’round. Plus, if you don’t wait as long as planned (there is that impatience again), you will still have a back up so you can taste what you otherwise would have missed.

Our Suggestions

Of course we have a few suggestions for as to what you might like to age. If there is something on this list you’ve liked fresh, maybe put a bottle or two away to see how your favorite flavors develop with age. There’s a few of these that will be off shelf for the season, so try and grab them while you still can.

Goose Island – Sofie

Troegs – Mad Elf

Uinta – Anniversary Barleywine

Widmer Bros. – Old Embalmer

Victory – Storm King Stout

Evolution – Bourbon Migration

Barrel-Aging

Thursday, December 10, 2015 | Goose Island, New Belgium, Tennent's, Uinta, Victory

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Beer was housed in wood for centuries, fermenting, aging, traveling and even being served straight from barrels. Barrels were simply the best method of containment not only for beer but also wine, liquor, vinegars and even dry goods. Although the true time and place of origin for barrels is hard to determine as all early artifacts rotted long ago, the general consensus is that they were first constructed by Celts or Gauls in northern Europe around 300 B.C., and spread over the world after they were conquered by the Roman Empire. Although wine is now traditionally the drink that comes to mind when thinking of barrels, it is likely that the first barrels were actually made to house beer as the Gauls and Celts did not make their own wine until much later. With wood being lighter, stronger and easier to handle than the clay pots being used before, the use of barrels expanded into wine and other goods by 100 A.D.

Wooden barrels remained the standard housing for wine, beer and later liquor up into the 20th century. Somewhere in there, it was realized that the wood and aging process imbued the beverage with particular flavor qualities. Additionally, what had previously been stored in the barrel also had an effect on taste. Generally, this was prevented by adding a layer of pitch to the inside of the barrel before storing beer, but winemakers were making full use of this by the 19th centrury.

Wood has its downsides, though; it’s hard to clean, porous, and hard to seal completely. Because of this, beer had to be consumed quickly, hopped heavy-handedly or cask-conditioned in order to prevent infection. With the advent of metal brewing equipment and storage, barrels were all but abandoned by brewers.

However, the qualities provided by barrels were not forgotten, and now breweries are taking advantage of the flavors of wood, as well as the wines and liquors stored before. Barrels in beer-making are gaining popularity for some of the same reasons they were abandoned. Fortunately, breweries nowadays have the luxury of being selective in which brews they decide to age, and the barrels they age in, allowing for combinations to be orchestrated and perfected.

Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout may be the first modern craft beer that utilized the bourbon barrel-aging process that has taken the craft scene by storm. The bourbon gives this a unique sweetness and the oak a smokiness over chocolate caramel and vanilla notes.

A twist on a classic, O’Hara’s Barrel-Aged Leann Follain is allowed to sit for 90 days in Irish whiskey barrels, enhancing the chocolatey flavor of the stout with the addition of dry scotch.

Tennent’s Aged with Whisky Oak combines wood, caramel and vanilla flavors through the use of a single malt and toasted oak.

Uinta’s Jacked B Nimble is a part of their Crooked Line, a spicy imperial pumpkin ale that’s has a signature oak note and a touch of rye.

Victory White Monkey takes the beloved Golden Monkey and allows it to mature for three months in oaken barrels that once stored white wine, adding nuanced to an already delicious brew.

After eight months aging, Evolution Bourbon Migration puts the bourbon flavor at the front with notes of vanilla and char, balanced by chocolate, toffee and coffee underneath.

New Belgium La Folie is a sour brown ale that spends one to three years in a huge oak barrels called foeders, coming out with a sharply fruity flavor full of berries and apple.

Dessert Pairing

Friday, November 13, 2015 | Fuller's, Goose Island, Ithaca, Lancaster Brewing, Leffe, New Belgium, Old Dominion, Rogue, Victory

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There is often discussion here about how to pair your favorite beers with food, but typically that conversation steers towards entrees and other savory dishes. However, many beers can make an excellent accompaniment to sweeter desserts. As an introduction to this pairing style, we offer this list to consider. As with savory pairings, these duos can either mimic one another with similar flavor notes, or complement each other with different accents. For each beer, we offer an example for each.

Goose Island Sofie – Champagne-like in mouthfeel, with pepper and citrus flavors and a vanilla finish.
Imitation: Fresh Fruit Ambrosia Salad
Complement: Chocolate-Orange Scone.

Lancaster Shoo-Fly Pie Porter – Sweet heavy molasses, vanilla and brown sugar.
Imitation: Pecan Pie
Complement: Crème Brûlée

Old Dominion Candi - Pear, apple, sugar and pepper, with a bit of tartness and finishing hop character.
Imitation: Pear Upside-Down Cake
Complement: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Fuller’s London Porter - Dark chocolate, coffee and smoky tobacco; a very strong flavor profile.
Imitation: Chocolate Torte
Complement: Raspberry Cheesecake

Leffe Blonde - Spicy banana, orange and vanilla make up this beer.
Imitation: Orange Banana Nut Bread
Complement: Dark Chocolate

Victory Storm King - Dark chocolate and espresso are cut with hop bitterness.
Imitation: Chocolate Espresso Pound Cake
Complement: Vanilla Fudge

New Belgium Snapshot - Lemony-tartness throughout, with a bready backbone.
Imitation: Lemon Shortbread
Complement: French Silk Pie

Rogue Chocolate Stout – Chocolate and hops combine for a darkly rich and bitter beer with a touch of nuttiness.
Imitation: Pecan Brownies
Complement: Cheesecake

Ithaca Country Pumpkin - All the pumpkin pie spices (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice) and a touch of pumpkin itself.
Imitation: Pumpkin Roll
Complement: Vanilla Bean Pudding

Autumn-Winter Transition Beers

Friday, October 30, 2015 | Anchor, Goose Island, Long Trail, New Belgium, Victory

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Holiday season is upon us, meaning you’ll probably be attending all sorts of family gatherings, office parties and other events. As we transition from autumn to winter in the next month or so, we can find a variety of delicious brews that straddle the line of the seasons. Transitional beers are those that can be enjoyed from now through the end of the year, spanning a spectrum of flavors that go from harvest to freeze. So if you’re thinking about what beers you’ll be enjoying at Thanksgiving or the coming winter holiday parties, keep this list in mind.

Long Trail Harvest – This little brown ale has a little something special added to give it that wonderful holiday flavor; real Vermont maple syrup, imbuing it with a sweetness that remains well-balanced. It’s also sessionable, coming in at 4.4% ABV

Anchor Maple Leaf – Another maple beer that manages to walk the line of just-sweet-enough. This red ale’s hoppiness is tempered by the syrup’s flavor, creating a complex flavor profile. 6% ABV

Ithaca Country Pumpkin - Pumpkin season doesn’t end in October; you can have pumpkin pie (and pumpkin ale for that matter) right into December. 6.3%

Bold Rock Virginia Hard Cider - In the wake of pumpkin ales, we often forget that ciders are also in season. This is a great gluten-free option, and just a good, refreshing drink between heavier brews. 6%

Lancaster Shoo-Fly Pie Porter – Named for a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch molasses pie, this porter has subtle smoky sweetness and a hint of vanilla, perfect for pairing with holiday cookies or pie. 6.2%

Goose Island Festivity Ale - This ever-changing line of beers from Goose Island always packs holiday flavors in. This year, it’s full of caramel and dark fruitiness, enjoyable November through December. 7.7% ABV

Goose Island Oktoberfest and Autumn Ale

Thursday, September 17, 2015 | Featured Beer, Goose Island

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Goose Island brings you two distinctive fall beers this season, an Autumn Ale and their version of an Oktoberfest.

The Autumn Ale is a great, heartier choice for hop-lovers. This is an amber ale with a piney aroma and spicy hop flavor–courtesy of Elk Mountain Farms-grown hops–that still maintains of brown-sugary backbone to keep it grounded. 6.7% ABV

Their Oktoberfest is a great example of the style, and perhaps not as heavy as some others, making it very drinkable. It’s full of sweet, candied aromas and flavors like toffee, burnt sugar and dried apricot, finished by the earthy bitterness of Hallertau hops. 6.4% ABV

Pairing Beer with Chocolate

Monday, May 4, 2015 | Breweries, Food, Goose Island, Old Dominion, Rogue, Troegs, Victory

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Chocolate, much like beer, is a treat to be savored. It has a reputation of being paired with strong emotions like love and sympathy, and for good reason. It releases feel-good chemicals serotonin and dopamine, creating a feeling of well-being that can be shared between lovers or help bring you out of a slump. Good beer can have a similar effect, relaxing and bringing cheer to the drinker. So it makes good sense to combine the two. If you aren’t sure on where to start, or what chocolate might pair well with your favorite brew, look no further than this guide on how to pair the two.

Stouts and Porters are the simplest way to start your foray into chocolate and beer pairing, because many of them include the roasty flavors that are in chocolate. Your first instinct might be to go with a dark chocolate for these dark beers, but milk chocolates actually complement the bitterness better by adding sweetness to the palate and allowing the strong flavors of the drink to play on the subtler notes of the chocolate. The milk in the chocolate will also play on the creaminess of milk stouts. Try DAGOBA’s milk chocolate with Old Dominion’s Morning Glory Espresso Stout to round out the flavors of both.

Brown ales can be paired with nutty chocolates, either those that actually contain nuts like almonds or hazelnuts, or those that simply carry nut-like characteristics. This will bring out the earthy tones in the beer that can sometimes be lost under its sweetness. Ghiradelli’s Intense Dark Hazelnut Heaven Bar will pair perfectly with Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar.

Sometimes you need something to sweeten your bitter, dark chocolate, and in that case, it’s best to pair it with a Belgian-style Dubbel or Tripel. Chocolove’s Strong Dark Chocolate has enough bite for Troegs’ Jovial.

Wheat beer can be great in combination with a citrus-accented chocolate. Darker chocolates will bring out more contrast in the two flavors for a great complement. Lindt’s Lemon EXCELLENCE Bar would go well with Hoegaarden’s Original.

It may not seem intuitive to pair something hoppy like a Pale Ale or IPA with chocolate, but there is a whole range of flavors that can work with the complexity in these beers. Chocolates containing citrus rinds like orange or lemon can bring out these flavors in the hops, and the same goes for floral notes. Alternatively, dark chocolates with chiles can be a wonderful combination with an IPA. DAGOBA Organic Xocolatl Dark chocolate is a good spicy chocolate to go with Goose Island’s IPA.

The highly alcoholic and quite varied Barley Wine can be the perfect partner with a strong chocolate that can compete with its flavor. This includes both sweet and bitter chocolates, depending on the profile you are looking for. Try Chocolove’s Ginger Crystalized in Dark Chocolate with Victory’s Old Horizontal as a good nightcap.

The Growing Movement of Session Beers

Friday, March 13, 2015 | Anchor, Boxcar, Full Sail, Goose Island, Keegan Ales, Kona, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Victory

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It’s no secret that craft beers tend to be a bit higher on the alcohol by volume, and that can be bad news for someone who wants to enjoy several brews in a night while still being safe. But have no fear! Low-alcohol session craft beers have been making their mark on the market in recent years and are on a climb in popularity. This means you can enjoy a party, round of cards or wedding while still enjoying your favorite craft breweries

The term session comes from the British, referring to the timeframe of a social gathering that involves drinking. In craft beer, a session beer has come to mean a beer under 5% AVB, but is still full of taste. So here we present a list of delicious session beers to try.

Full Sail Session Lager – What it lacks in ABV, it makes up for in big malt flavor and herbal hop character. 5.1% ABV

Anchor Steam Beer – This California Common beer gets its name from tradition West Coast brewing methods. 4.9% ABV

Goose Island Honkers Ale – An English bitter with fruity hops and a rich malt middle, making for a very drinkable brew. 4.3% ABV

Keegan Ales Bine Climber – Citrus hops lead this IPA, then is balanced by the malts, making it an especially good hoppy beer to drink a few of. 4.7% ABV

Kona Big Wave – Fruity flavors are suspended on bready malts, giving a full flavor to this blonde ale. 4.4% ABV

Long Trail Ale – This full-bodied amber ale is great for drinking around the campfire or bringing to a party. 5% ABV

Magic Hat Circus Boy – An unfiltered hefeweizen brewed with lemon grass that won’t have you on the floor. 4.5% ABV

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